Koma

Sunday, May 2, 2010 4:08 PM By Simon

Okay, we all love Asian cinema, yes? I mean, we (as in, every film blogger ever) at least love Oldboy. Cause, y'know, it's the law.

Therefore, if you do happen to love Asian cinema, in it's many shapes and forms, you'll probably dig Hong-Kong export Koma. The story of two women, socialite Ching (Angelica Lee), who suffers from an extremely weak kidney, and Ling (Karena Lam), a poor, reserved girl who needs money to take care of her brain-dead mother. At her friends' wedding, Ching gets piss drunk and stumbles into a room at the hotel where the reception is. There, she finds a woman, also from the wedding, who had woken up naked inside a tub of ice, her kidney missing and crudely sewn up. The next morning, Ching is shown security footage and points Ling out as the culprit, being the only one at the hotel nobody knew or recognised. What follows is a complex love triangle and revenge thriller, more psychological thriller than it's billed horror.

It's like this movie is in the middle of a perpetual twist. Every ten minutes, there's a new thing for our heroine, Ching, to scream about (she does a lot of screaming, by the way). The score delves into the same loop of booming Hitchcock-violin so many times I couldn't count on both hands. It's part Fatal Attraction, part Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (well, in that it involves disastrous schemes involving organ transplants).

I have not miraculously learned any Asian languages between now and Sonatine, so as always, language barriers prevent me from really grasping any of the performances, but they weren't obviously bad, so I guess that's a good thing. Direction relies a bit too much on jump cuts, a screeching score, and plot twists every corner, but overall, it was actually a pretty good film. I was never bored, at least.

A good rental, not a sado-masochistic horror, no mistaken identities, none of that...a fairly straightforward thriller that you could do worse than seeing.

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